Ottawa-OMAFRA Agricultural Soil Mapping Pilot Project

Accessing your property for soil test purposes

In July 2014, the City of Ottawa together with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food and the Ministry of Rural Affairs started an update of Ottawa’s soils mapping to:

  • Improve our soils information 
  • Identify prime agricultural land, and 
  • Guide future planning in rural Ottawa.

As a result, farm owners in two large test areas may be approached by representatives of the City or the Ministry of Agriculture and Food seeking permission to access to their property to allow sampling and mapping of soils conditions on their land.

Both the City and the Province will use the soil capability mapping resulting from this field sampling to determine and protect the most productive lands for farming. Farmers will be able to use the soil mapping for their properties for a variety of purposes, including managing the use and distribution of fertilizer.

When will the mapping process begin?

From July to October 2014, staff from the city and/or the Ministries may contact you and request your permission for soil experts to gain access to your land. The access and sampling will not damage crops, farm equipment or infrastructure (fences or tiles). Soil sampling will only take place on your property if you grant permission for the soil experts to enter.

What will happen to the results?

The results of the surveys undertaken in 2014-2015 and the city’s existing and highly accurate topographic information will be used by the Ministry of Agricultural and Food and the Ministry of Rural Affairs to produce some of the most up-to-date and accurate soil capability mapping available in Ontario. The city will use the mapping to review its Agricultural Resource Areas. Farmers who participate will receive copies of the mapping information for their fields.

Stay informed

Stay informed about this project and other city services, public consultations, funding opportunities and other topics affecting rural Ottawa.

To be added to the Rural Affairs Office distribution list, send an e-mail to and provide your name, e-mail address, identify if you represent a specific organization and what part of the City of Ottawa you live in. You will receive regular e-mail updates with information affecting you. Subscribers may ask at any time for their name to be removed from the distribution list.

For more information, contact:
Mr. Bruce Finlay, C.I.P, P.I.A, R.P.P
City of Ottawa
Planning and Growth Management Department Planning and Infrastructure
110 Laurier Ave. West, Ottawa Ontario, K1P 1J1
tel: (613) 580-2424 ext. 21850
fax: (613) 580-2459

Mr. Ross Kelly, M.Sc.
Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Environmental Management Branch
3rd Floor SE, 1 Stone Road West,
Guelph, Ontario, N1G 4Y2
tel: (519) 826-6382

Dr. Stewart J. Sweeney, Ph.D.,
Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Environmental Management Branch,
3rd Floor SE, 1 Stone Road West,
Guelph, Ontario, N1G 4Y2
tel: (519) 826-4478
mobile: (519) 776-3413